Illegal wildlife trade thriving on e-portals: Environment minister
Illegal trade of rare animals and their body parts is flourishing on popular websites, including Quikr, Olx, eBay, Amazon and YouTube, the government said on Monday.
Environment minister Anil Madhav Dave said online smuggling of rare animals and their parts was being monitored by the state and central governments as part of their efforts to combat cyber crime.
“Several websites are seen advertising sale of rare animals and their parts,” Dave said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.
He furnished a list of 106 such websites collated by the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB). The websites include prominent names such as quikr.com, olx.in, alibaba.com, ebay.com, youtube.com, amazon.com, shopping.rediff.com, petsmart.com and snapdeal.com.
Dave said several steps have been taken to prevent such illegal activities, including employing the services of cyber crime specialists on a contractual basis to carry out regular cyber patrolling to detect posts and offers on the portals.
He said if any such offer is detected, details are retrieved of the suspect and information is passed on to the relevant enforcement agencies for legal action.
A meeting of representatives from online trade portals was convened in May this year to issues pertaining to wildlife trade, sensitise them about it and discuss modalities to assist the WCCB in case of such detections.
Dave said during the training and sensitisation programmes, the issue of illegal online wildlife trade was highlighted so that officials involved in its enforcement are abreast of such trends.
A wildlife body recently alleged that a prominent website was selling wildlife specimens, including sea horses and alligator heads, protected under the country’s laws.
Wildlife SOS claimed the website was offering an array of wildlife trophies, including preserved snakes, butterflies, starfish and rare beetles, besides hunting manuals and devices.